Creating a City Garden

June 24, 2016 by Leanne

If you think you don’t have room for a garden, think again! With a little imagination, even the littlest balcony, the tiniest patio or the smallest patch of dirt can be transformed into a green oasis. Your city garden must start with a plan. Do your research and choose plants that suit the space – full sun/partial sun/shade, pots versus planted in the ground and how tall/wide the plants will grow. You’ll also want to think about your colour palette and how much time you can devote to maintenance. Below are a few ideas to help you optimize the beauty of your small garden space.

Our Stoney Creek location garden

Our Stoney Creek location garden

Manage the small footprint. With floor/ground space at a premium, think vertically! Tall narrow shelves, repurposed ladders and makeshift steps are all great ways to maximize your growing and display area.

Have fun with planters. Eclectic is charming! How about galvanized buckets as planters? Or antique tin cans from a flea market? Or terra cotta pots hand painted by your children? A classic choice is distressed wood planters that you can easily build to exactly the size you want.

Enjoy itty bitty fruit trees. If you love fruit trees, this is great news! There are dwarf varieties available of several fruit trees, include orange, apple and cherry. Even a small sunny balcony can easily house these mini-specimens in pots.

Go for groupings. Your plants don’t need to be spaced individually. Not only does a grouping save real estate, it also looks gorgeous! A monochromatic grouping is sophisticated while a profusion of colour is less formal but quite spectacular.

Our Stoney Creek location garden

Our Stoney Creek location garden

Extend your space. Light your garden so that it looks like an extension of your home. In fact, consider planting using the palette of the room that opens into your garden – bright colours or pretty pastels, etc.  Also try to squeeze even the smallest chairs and table into your garden space. You’ll want to sit and enjoy.

Veggies – yes! Many types of vegetables will grow in pots. Carrots and radishes are hardy while lettuces and peppers may be a little more challenging, but are still feasible.

Welcome window boxes! Remember, they don’t need to be hung off a window – a balcony rail works just as well. Window boxes can even be used for unexpected plants like strawberries.

Save space with hanging planters. An idea I love is to plant herbs in hanging planters just outside your door or window. It makes it so easy to grab a few sprigs for cooking.

Here at our Stoney Creek location, we planted our own city garden which is proof that you can create a gorgeous little garden anywhere. There are flowers and plants along with a vegetable garden on the patio – all planted and tended by our team. It was a group effort, starting with our staff members sharing perennials from home. Our team and family members helped with the digging and planting. Even the plant ID tags were handcrafted with love. It truly is a community garden for our team to share, producing herbs to take home for a recipe, even greens for a lunch salad! We are all very proud of the creativity, efforts and teamwork that went into this green oasis.

Our Stoney Creek location garden

Our Stoney Creek location garden

Are you inspired to create your own city garden? There’s still time! It’s so gratifying to watch it bloom and grow. Grab your spade and get started!

 

 

 

The Living Room Unplugged: Tips to Create a No-Tech Space

June 17, 2016 by Leanne

We’ve finally realized (and not a minute too soon!) that communication has nothing to do with a screen. After years of living rooms that were all about huge TVs, computers, DVD players and video games, we’re craving a space that’s quiet, serene and designed for relaxation. Introducing the no-tech living room – an oasis of comfort.

It’s an incredibly hot trend and yet very traditional – we’re reverting to a space my grandmother called the parlour. Consider a room that’s exclusively meant for enjoying conversation with friends and family. Start by moving all things tech to a family room or den: TVs, stereos, laptops, yes, even cell phones! Now start planning your new, truly interactive living room. Here are some tips:

Get cozy. A room designed for conversation should be inviting. Be sure there are lots of cushions that feel as good as they look. Add a plush rug. Keep throws in easy reach. HINT: Choose a fabulous array of patterns and stack your throws artistically.

Serta Hughes 4050 Collection

Serta Hughes 4050 Collection

Think warm. Choose a paint colour that’s warm rather than cold. It’s richer and generates a feeling of closeness. Not only will a warm colour create ambience; it will actually add a glow to your skin.

Celebrate whimsy. A room with a sense of humour makes guests feel at ease. Display art and unique furnishings that reflect your good taste and love of life. Most people enjoy a room that has a touch of the unexpected. Eclectic and comfy trump perfect but unapproachable any day!

Janet Collection

Janet Collection

Keep a focal point. Most of us lay out our living rooms around the TV. No more! But you’ll still need a focal point to give your room balance. It can be a fireplace, a unique piece of artwork, a window framing a beautiful view or a gorgeous armoire.

Create conversation-conducive seating. Arrange your seating to encourage conversation. Create a “U” or “L” shape with your sofa, chairs, or sectional. Bring chairs away from the walls and closer together for intimacy. HINT: Be sure to include portable seating like a bench, poufs or accent chairs. Make it easy for friends to pull up a seat and get involved.

Layla Collection

Layla Collection

Have fun. Tech-free doesn’t mean fun-free! How about an ottoman or coffee table with storage for board games, puzzles and colouring books? Or perhaps invest in bookcases filled with the classics and spend time reading with your family?

What will you add? When you clear out the tech, you may have room for something else! Consider a bar cart, a statement chaise or even a piano.

Choose comfort. Of course it’s important that your furnishings are attractive, but make comfort your first priority. Opt for sofas with plenty of support, thick cushions, and soft yet durable upholstery, or perhaps wonderfully worn distressed leather. Look for solid hardwood construction and quality craftsmanship.

Studio 7H Collection

Studio 7H Collection

But what if? Okay, maybe you don’t have the space to have a designated no-tech living room. If that’s the case, consider ingenious new furnishings that complete hide cords, wires etc. Your space will look tech-free and tidy!